Promises to secure release of Boko Haram captives
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
AS Leah Sharibu, the Christian Dapchi schoolgirl continues to languish in Boko Haram captivity two years after she was abducted, President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that he will continue to seek the release of all children and captives of terrorists.
President Buhari in a statement he personally signed in Abuja on the day that coincided with the second anniversary of the kidnap of Leah Sharibu, alongside other Dapchi girls, promised that his administration will redouble efforts for the return of Leah, who was held back by the Boko Haram insurgents for not renouncing her Christian faith.
The statement read: “On the second anniversary of Dapchi, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria makes the following statement:
“Two years ago, 110 innocent children from the town of Dapchi were taken, against their will, by the terrorists of Boko Haram. 107 survived the ordeal. Today, all but one – Leah Sharibu – are returned to their families.
“Now aged 16, Leah remains in the hands of the terrorists – they say because she refuses to renounce her Christian faith.
“We say, as the government for and of all Nigerians, that no person has the right to force another to change their faith against their will and that all lives are sacred.
“This government continues and seeks to secure the release of all children and captives of terrorists – and we do so, regardless of their creed or the name of their creator.
“As we redouble our efforts for Leah’s return, we can never allow the terrorists to divide us – Christian against Muslim, Muslim against Christian. We are all sons of Abraham. And all Nigerians have the same worth and rights before the law, and before God.’’
Recall that Nigeria woke up on February 19, 2018, to the shocking news of a replica of the Chibok experience (which took place on April 14, 2014). It was the abduction of 110 innocent and defenceless girls from a government-owned secondary school in Dapchi, Yobe State.
The Federal Government deployed the Nigerian Air Force and other security agencies to search for the missing schoolgirls and to hopefully enable their return.
About 107 of the Dapchi girls were rescued by the Federal Government but the terrorists refused to release Leah Sharibu who was said to be the only Christian girl because she refused to denounce her religion, which was said to be a condition given to her by the Boko Haram sect.